BY BLESSING SILVER
Maurice faced the computer, ready to email some doc-ments to their company’s head when the door to his office opened..
“Leave it on the table Kira. Thanks” he said to the person whom he had imagined to be his secretary; without raising his head from the computer.
For a moment he sensed the presence of the person still standing in front of him and that was when he realized that it wasn’t Kira; Kira normally would’ve knocked and entered only when he says she could. He slowly raised his head from the device and looked up; it was his father.
“You of all people should know that it’s impolite to barge into peoples privacy” Maurice said. Pablo walked in and grabbed a seat.
“I don’t think my company should have privacy for other people, well except the restroom of course” he said and Maurice tried not to clench his jaw.
“Since it’s obvious you have nothing important to say, I’ll like you to leave”. He said and Pablo looked at him. Behind those anger that blared out to him Pablo could see the hurt those eyes bare. He knew Maurice was in pain and even though he was trying to act all tough and bossy, Pablo could still see the growing scars that Diane, obviously had left on him.
“I heard about Diane’s breakup with you,” he said and Maurice fist tightened to a hard, piercing ball. Pablo noticed it beneath the table “Are you okay son?” He asked and Maurice scoffed.
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m f-cking fine and don’t try to act like you care. We know how you feel deep down” he said and Pablo sighed. This wasn’t going the way he wanted.
“I’m really worried about you”
“If that’s it then stop worrying coz I’m fine. Now leave!” He said, the anger tearing him up. Pablo paused for a while, thinking about what next to say.
“Does Bella still stay at your place? I was told she wasn’t at work today” he said and Maurice eyeballs grew wide.
“What do you mean work?” Maurice asked.
“Oops!” Pablo exclaimed. He had forgotten Maurice didn’t know about her working and he had said it out without thinking.. Such a big mouth.
“I-it’s suppose to be a secret–
“Dad!” Maurice called sternly.
“Alright,” Pablo surrendered “She’s been working as a waitress”
“What?” Maurice brows narrowed. “And for how long have you known about it?”
“For a while now” he answered and Maurice bit on his lower lip.
He was the last to know about this again. Why must he always be the last person to know, even his father knew about it. And the heck! Bella had been right under his nose for so long and he hadn’t even noticed. The early morning dress-up, the bag she always carried and the late night comings. Why hadn’t he thought about it?.
He was urged to ask his Dad of her work venue but his ego wouldn’t let him; he could see it as asking a favor from him and take it for something else and probably take advantage of it. Maurice couldn’t imagine himself doing something to please his father.
Pablo was about saying something when a knock came to the door, Maurice ushered the guest in and Kira walked in, a big box of pepperoni pizza in her arm.
“Good day Mr Martinez,” she greeted both father and son “I got you your order” she said. He signaled to her to leave it on the table and she did.
“Is there anything else you want me to do or get for you?” She asked, stepping away from the table.
“No. Thank you” he said and she smiled at him before walking away.
He exchanged knowing glances with his father. “Mind if I have some?” His father asked.. Hold on is he trying to create a relationship between them indirectly.
“Help yourself” Maurice said. Pablo shifted the pack to himself, opened it and cut out a slice; he took a bite and chewed.
“Mmh yummy” he said and took another bite before looking at Maurice who was busy getting coffee from the machine.
“You know about Jolie’s homecoming tomorrow right?” He asked Maurice who nodded in response.
“She informed me over the phone” he said, shifting away from the coffee machine and adding some whipped cream to the first cup of coffee, he added sweetener to the other and passed the first one to Pablo. “Thanks” he said with a smile.
“I’ll be picking her up from the airport. You should look after the company while I’m at it” he said.
“Sure” Maurice said. Somehow he didn’t like where the conversation was heading to, they were talking like they’re In good terms and even though he knew better Maurice could sight the little blisters of happiness in his father’s eyes. He decided to keep his cool anyways.
“I’m truly sorry about you and Diane–
“Cut it out dad, you never liked her from the scratch” he said, dropping the spoon he used to stir his coffee. He drew the cup to his lips and gulped in a long sip.
“True,” Pablo said “And I never hated her either” he sipped his coffee and smiled. Maurice still remembered how he loved his coffee served.
“It doesn’t change anything” Maurice says.
Maurice received an email, he dropped his coffee and checked it. “I guess it’s work time. I’ll leave you alone to focus” Pablo said, he wiped his hand on a paper towel, grabbed his cup of coffee and walked out.
Maurice stared at his back and then the door hitting with a slight bang. He noticed that Pablo was aging.
Work ended for Maurice and he drove towards his home, he stopped at a restaurant and got light take-out food before continuing his journey. Maurice got home and steadied the car in the driveway. He grabbed his work bag and the plastic bag that had his dinner and walked to his house. He got to the doorpost and realized his house was open, he hadn’t typed the lock pin before leaving for work and that was because he had thought Bella was home; as usual.
Maurice walked in and the sudden emptiness of the house greeted him first, normally he would have perceived the odor of delicious cooking food and Bella would’ve rushed out of the kitchen in apron to welcome him. But it wasn’t like that now.. Bella had left and he didn’t even know her whereabout. He just hoped she’s doing okay.
Maurice sighed at the empty house, Alas! He was back to his past normal life. Meeting his home empty and doing practically everything on his own. Not that he didn’t have friends, he just didn’t see them as friend enough to invite them to his house; it was mostly official.
Maurice threw his workbag to a couch and settled on another end, he loosened his tie and unbuckled his shoes, throwing them aside he unbuttoned his upper cloth and stretched. He shifted the food bag to himself and opened it, the sight before him look inviting and obviously delicious but sadly enough Maurice realized he had lost appetite over the meal, few minutes ago this same sight had almost made him salivate and now he couldn’t even taste it.. He had taken nothing more than coffee and well half a slice of his pizza but he had no appetite to take anything more. He had realized that lately he had been losing his appetite easily and he didn’t know why.. Scratch that, he very well knows why but he just didn’t like it. Diane’s decision was affecting him more than he wanted it to and with the way things are going, his health could start deteriorating.. Because of Diane. Okay it wasn’t totally because of her, she had simply made a decision and it was left to him to take it or leave it, not like he had a choice anyways. So why can’t he just accept it! Why was something as simple as it sounds be so goddamn hard to do! Why can’t he just deal with the past and move on! Why is it f-cking difficult!!
Maurice clenched his jaw and threw the food away, it fell and scattered on the floor; causing a mess. Maurice ignored it and stomped to his room.
“I got back just in time, thanks to the GPS. And I made you dinner too” Bella told Patty when she returned from work and asked her how her day went.
“Did it help?”
“It did” Bella said with a smile.
“Oh crap,” Patty stood up “I need to shower. Work was pretty messy”
“Sorry” Bella said. “I’ll set the table while you’re at it” Patty nodded.
“Less I forget. A hottie came looking for you at the shop”
“That’s the short form for handsome, cute and s€×y duh! Who doesn’t know that?”
“Me. I guess”
“Yeah right. Well, he said his name is Raymond and that your line had been switched off all day. Why’s that?”
“I left my phone at Maurice’s”
“Okay. I gave him the address to this place and he said he’ll visit tomorrow. He couldn’t stop inquiring about your mood. He’s a good guy” she said.
“Yeah I know”
“And also Maurice’s Dad also came along, he asked of you too–
“Let me guess, you gave him the address too?”
“I didn’t.” Patty replied and blushed “we only exchanged numbers and geez he looked so dreamy on a nearer view” Bella rolled her eyes to that.
“You should go to the bathroom”
“Oh yes I should. You have to remind me to give him a call before dinner okay?”
“Why before dinner?”
“So my voice doesn’t get bold and sleepy–
“Okay. I will. To the bathroom now Patricia”
“Kay kay” she said and jogged away. Bella smiled before moving to the kitchen.
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